Derek Pedley abandons his thirty-year journalism career on the brink of a breakdown, haunted by addiction, compulsion, and obsession, and carrying the heavy baggage of a boy who found his adoption papers at fifteen.
When an anguished letter his mother wrote almost half a century earlier arrives five years after her death, it raises more questions than it answers. The man who was born Abraham Maddison embarks on a quest to find the truth, uncovering a story of heartbreak and lies that echoes the pain of tens of thousands of mothers and children, robbed of each other by Australia’s Forced Adoption era.
It is also a spiritual journey, and Derek must find a way to bridge the visceral disconnection of adoption, reunion, estrangement, and death to achieve peace with his mother, Joye Maddison, who was allowed to hold her newborn just once before he was taken away in Perth in 1972.
With his marriage and mental health at stake, and guided by a psychologist and other experts, Derek confronts the worst of himself, and his past, with a blend of journalistic rigour and earthy humour.
Crazy Bastard is raw and harrowing, brutally honest, and beautifully vulnerable. It is one man’s search for identity, for love, and for the truth.
Adoptee Author: Abraham Maddison
Publication Year: 2023
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